You’re brown, brunette, or blonde and now you’ve decided to take the plunge to become a Ginger!  This is for you!  Here you will find all the tips and tricks of becoming a ginger and how to maintain your new red color.  Once you make the switch, it will be with you for a while, so be sure this is what you want to do.  Life will not be the same!

Being ginger is a pretty cool thing, a status symbol perhaps.  Christina Hendricks, a bottle-born redhead, is almost as famous for her barnet as she is for her other assets.  What most potential redheads don’t immediately grasp is that “becoming” a redhead is as much about “staying” a redhead as the actual dye process.  That’s an important distinction.  It takes work to stay redhead!

First, if this is your very first time, you should probably have a professional do it.  There is so much more to the chemistry of redheads than meets the eye.  You must match up your skin with warm or cool shades first.  If your skin matches up warm then you know you will be in the copper/gold toned reds.  If it matches up cool, you will be in the maroon/violet shaded reds.  Importantly, you never want to lift your color more than two shades from your normal shade.  Ultimately, you want your regrowth to look as natural as possible.   As a freckled Ginger myself, there is nothing worse than having the wrong shade of red applied to my hair to make my skin look splotchy, green or pink.

Once your professional has chosen the right shade for you, it’s so important that you talk about how to make your red hair stay looking vibrant and get the least amount of fading.  Properly shampooing your hair is a MUST!  There are some very specific ways to properly shampoo and condition your hair to get the maximum results of shine and volume.  Do NOT do these things:

  1. You jump in the shower with tangles in your hair. By brushing through your hair prior to shampooing it helps distribute the oils throughout your hair leaving it silky and smooth prior to cleansing your hair.  This will keep your hair from getting tangled in the process.
  2. You start off with dry patches in your hair. Start with a long rinse to totally saturate your hair.  Parting your hair in the back and getting the root completely wet and saturated.  If there are any dry spots in the hair your shampoo will not lather.  Hot water will open the cuticle to cleanse the hair from dirt or product that may be trapped in the hair.  Bonus: If you rinse your hair in warm water, it looses the oils throughout the scalp and opens the cuticle so it is able to absorb the oil from your conditioner.  If your hair is below your shoulders we recommend bringing a clip into the shower to help clip off the top of your hair so that you can really soak the underneath.
  3. You lather the wrong end. When you lather up, only lather at the scalp.  A lot of women lather up their entire head of hair…this will strip your natural shine and oils from the hair shaft as well as strip your color over time.  The best way to lather up is to start at the nape of the neck, using only your fingertips and not your nails, then work your way up the scalp. Typically your ends are the most fragile and driest part of your hair so take extra care of them.  A quarter size amount is perfect, unless you have a ton of hair, then you can double that.
  4. You’re rough with your hair. Never ball up your ends when shampooing.  Always keep them neat and clean, being gentle with your hair.  Friction on your hair can permanently damage your cuticle, leading to breakage and frizz.  Wash your hair as if you were washing your delicates  – very gently!  When you start your lather at the roots it creates blood flow and increases stimulation to the follicles.  Always use vertical strokes and not circular movements which can tangle your hair further.  Our cuticles all face in a downward motion so keeping this in mind as you smooth the shampoo over your ends keeping all the cuticles going in the same direction.  This eliminates frizz and breakage.
  5. You always repeat your shampoo. There are occasionally reasons you may want to shampoo twice, but typically you don’t want to strip your hair by over shampooing.  This will signal your oil glands to activate and create even more oil.
  6. You are putting conditioner on your scalp. After you finish with your shampoo, squeeze out the excess water by twisting your hair and doing a slight squeeze.  Apply your conditioner from mid-shaft to your ends only. Then twist up into a clip and leave sitting on your hair for the remaining portion of you shower. This will allow for the conditioner to soak into the cuticle leaving it silky and shiny.  You do NOT need conditioner on your scalp.  This will weigh your hair down and make your hair oily.
  7. You rinse with hot water.  I know, this is the hardest part of my shower process is ending in cool water. But seriously this really helps close the cuticle tighten, sealing it like a shingle on a roof, which will cause it to reflect the most light and give off the most shine.

What are the best support materials you will need to take care of your ginger hair at home?  You will first need an excellent color shampoo and conditioner.  Red hair color is among the largest molecule in the color world.  Therefore the fading is more than any other color, not to mention its also the HARDEST color to get out when you want it gone. We recommend Oribe Beautiful Color Shampoo and Conditioner.  Not only does it smell amazing, but it will lock in your color to get the lasting results you desire. When you are rinsing your hair, be sure to use cool water the first several shampoos.  Not only will this increase your shine, but it will also help close the cuticle to keep those larger molecules from washing down your drain.

We also recommend a color gaze type of product to add gorgeous shine to your hair.  Lastly, you should use a hair moisturizer to keep the coloration level.  Most moisturizers are oils which may necessitate a tricky heat application.  Make sure you use a heat protector.  This adds gorgeous shine to your beautiful ginger locks.  Nothing will make your Ginger fade quicker than heat from your blow drier and hot tools.

Now that you have all the tips and tricks on becoming a ginger, get ready for heads to turn as you walk around town.  Everyone will want what you’ve got!

GUEST CONTRIBUTION BY: Adelle Valentine-Graham

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